I do not think that anyone will argue about the fact that, in most cases, kids get born naked and upside down. I think it is very practical: first, when you in the mother’s womb, you do not need lots of clothing, and the environment is comfy enough; second, heading to the life journey, you better check first where you are going.
Ok, now serious talk.
As a mature man or woman, we consider ourselves sovereign, independent and free. But for our heavenly Father, we are all babies, unruly and disobedient ones. And, because of our short memory concerning our past and poor sight regarding our future, we often get into different troubles.
Thus, we all need a mature leader. The one who perfect and righteous, selfless and humble, meek and obedient. And at the same time, the one who speaks with boldness, authority, wisdom, justice and love.
We all need Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Acts 16:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-9).
On this week’s insight, we will look into the Exodus 7-11 & Matthew 15
Please, check our previous week’s insight – Fulfilling The Role Of The Prophesied Suffering Servant
Prehistory. The story of Genesis ends up with the death of Joseph (Genesis 50:26). And Joseph lived 110 years and, unlike his parents, they mummified and put him in a coffin in Egypt. All the family that Joseph brought to Egypt during World Famine remained to live in Goshen, the most fertile land in Egypt.
The story of Exodus starts with dramatic changes for the children of Israel (Exodus 1:1-7). It tells us that the new Pharaoh changed the favour towards Jewish people to wrath – he enslaved them for hard work (Exodus 1:8-14) and even planned to reduce their population (Exodus 1:15-22).
Chapters two through six of the book of Exodus tell us about Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible. Here is the synopsis of what happened in those chapters:
God raised up a leader for the children of Israel
- Pharaoh’s daughter saved Moses from murder (Exodus 2:1-10).
- Moses murdered an Egyptian and fled to the land of Midian (Exodus 2:11-22).
- Israel cried out to God (Exodus 2:23-25).
- God appeared miraculously to Moses (Exodus 3:1-6).
- God commanded Moses to lead Israel out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 3:1-10).
- Moses’ questions and God’s answers: Who am I? (Exodus 3:11-12); What is His Name? (Exodus 3:13-22); They will not believe me (Exodus 4:1-9); I am slow of speech (Exodus 4:10-17).
- Moses returns to Egypt to fulfill God’s commandments (Exodus 4:18-31).
- Pharaoh rejected Moses (Exodus 5:1-14).
- Israel rejected Moses (Exodus 5:15-23).
- God comforted Moses and charged him and Aaron to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt into the promised land (Exodus 6:1-30).
Exodus 7 – 11. At the beginning of chapter 7 of the book of Exodus, God reassured Moses and Aaron and prepared them for further confrontations with Pharaoh (Exodus 7:1-7). Exodus 7:8-13 is the first such confrontation when in response to Pharaoh’s request to show a miracle, Moses and Aaron did just like God commanded, and Aaron threw down his staff, and it became a serpent.
Despite the evident superiority of God’s power over the primitive and even fake power of the Egyptian gods, Pharaoh’s heart was inflexible, and he remained inexorable. It could discourage Moses and Aaron, but they knew that this had happened just as the Lord had said it would (Exodus 7:13).
The nine Judgements or Plagues
Before giving a summary view of the events in Exodus 7-11, I would love to touch on a few points.
First, many theologians suggest considering the first nine judgements as an assembly of similar events and the last judgement – the death of the firstborn – as the single culminating event along with Passover.
Second, the Hebrew word naga to in the lights of these events is best understood as a blemish that has been created by touching or striking. Thus, the English term plague does not really fit into the narrative with all these events, and it is better to interpret it as judgement, punishment or infliction.
Last, some commentators trying to explain these judgements as an instance of natural events with perhaps divinely guided timing, location and proportions. But that is not the case regarding the Bible as God’s infallible word. And when you read the story from Exodus, you see everything has happened, just as the Lord had said.
The main goal of these judgements or plagues was to undermine the Egyptian’s faith in their various gods and show God’s ultimate power and authority over all His creation.
1. All water turned to blood (Exodus 7:14-25):
Hapi, who personified the Nile – like the serpent – was one of the great gods of the Egyptians. God turned the Nile into blood, and all its streams fed by it.
2. The frogs in all the places (Exodus 8:1-15):
The frog, as frog goddess Hekt, also was worshiped by Egyptians and was the symbol of fruitfulness and abundance.
3. The lice out of dust (Exodus 8:16-19):
This third plague or judgement Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian magicians (2 Tim 3:8), could not imitate like two previous ones. Moreover, in verse 19, they had to acknowledge that this is the finger of God.
4. The swarms of flies (Exodus 8:20-32):
George Williams commented regarding this judgement that it was especially severe to the idolators. Beelzebub was the god of flies, but he was proven to be powerless.
5. A pestilence upon beasts (Exodus 9:1-12):
The other plague that struck Egyptian cattle-gods – Hathor the cow goddess, and Apis the bull-god. This time only animals “in the field” have died, however, none of the animals of the Israelites died (Exodus 9:7).
6. Boils on man and beast (Exodus 9:8-12):
Painful boils with blisters stuck all the men and beats (except the Israelites); the magicians could not even heal their own boils. God aimed this plague possible at their god Typhon, i.e. the Devil, to whom people were burnt alive in the furnace.
7. Hail upon the land of Egypt (Exodus 9:13-35):
This is the first time when God offered His grace and mercy for those that feared the word of the Lord (Exodus 9:20-21) and this is nothing else but the demonstration of salvation by faith. Moreover, Pharaoh has admitted that the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked (Exodus 9:27) and this is the illustration of repentance.
8. Locusts, the dread of Egyptians (Exodus 10:1-20):
The Egyptian gods Isis and Serapis were supposed to protect them from locusts, but same as all other gods, they too have failed yet again.
9. Darkness in Egypt (Exodus 10:21-29):
The chief deity of Egypt was Ra, the sun god. Thus, this miracle proved Jehovah is the God of gods. Moreover, when those who rejected Him were in the darkness, His people, Israelites, remained in the light (Exodus 10:23).
The death of the firstborn
In the last part (Exodus 11:1-10), the death of the firstborn, God informed Moses that the protracted round of judgements over Egyptians and their gods were about to end. Moreover, not only the Pharaoh will “let the people go” he would drive you away completely (Exodus 11:1).
Furthermore, God told Moses to instruct his people to ask, every man of his neighbour and every woman of her neighbour, for silver and gold jewelry (Exodus 11:2). Here, the children of Israel can expect the Egyptians to be generous towards them. This jewelry would facilitate their journey and provide the materials for the construction of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:2-7).
This last judgement has destroyed not just all Egyptian gods but the kingship of Pharaoh and his dynasty, and the main heir of all Egyptian families’ fortune altogether. Definitely, that was doom for unrepented Pharaoh and his people.
Matthew 15. In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus Christ faced opposition from Pharisees and scribes over oral traditions like washing hand before eating bread (Matthew 15:1-20); the Lord Jesus healed the Gentile woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:21-28); He healed many people (Matthew 15:29-31) and fed 4,000 men, beside women and children (Matthew 15:32-39).
Insights Into The Scriptures
Even though the accounts of the exile of Israelites from Egypt and Jesus’ ministry in Israel are so far from each other on the timeline, they are so close in terms of God’s redemptive work.
And if in the first case Moses was to Jewish like a god (Exodus 4:16), in the second – God Himself came to His people to bring them out of the bondage to sin, once and forever.
The lost sheep of the house of Israel
Just like in the account about Egypt and the World Famine, when God blessed the people of Egypt by sending to them Joseph, the Lord God saved the whole world, but first and foremost He saved His chosen nation – Israel.
In the same manner, the Lord Jesus came into the world to die for the sins of the whole world, but first He came as Israel’s promised Messiah (Isaiah 7:14; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Micah 5:2). And that is exactly what Jesus Christ answered to the Canaanite woman who asked the Lord for mercy to heal her demon tormented daughter (Matthew 15:22-24).
It seems that in Matthew 15:26 Jesus’ answer to woman’s cry for help (Matthew 15:25) was harsh, but because of how this woman has responded next, we can tell, that it was a test of faith (Matthew 15:27-28). Moreover, our Lord showed to His disciples that Gentiles also were included in God’s plan of redemption and they too could have saving faith.
By drawing the parallel between Matthew 15 and Exodus 7 – 11, we can see that God’s mercy was upon His people, but just like in Matthew 15:27 the crumbs fell from the master’s table and saved those who feared the word of the Lord (Exodus 9:20-21).
Lord, help me
This is how the shortest prayer looks like. The Canaanite woman prayed it to Jesus on the coast of Tyre and Sidon and seems like that the children of Israel prayed it too when their affliction in the land of Egypt became unbearable (Exodus 2:23-25). I prayed that prayer too…
If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not now!? Do not wait until it is too late! Embrace God’s Grace, Mercy and Love now – Accept Jesus Now!
Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts
These are the things that defile a man (Matthew 15:19-20), that was Jesus’ response to the accusations from scribes and Pharisees, who challenged the Lord because His disciples wash not their hands when they eat bread (Matthew 15:2).
The plagues that God brought unto Pharaoh and all his people was the Judgement for the content of their hearths described in Matthew 15:19. All that weird pantheon of gods of Egypt is simply a cover-up of their evil thoughts, murder, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. And the Lord God masterfully and with authority dealt with Egyptian cover-up of false gods.
That is what happening when people turn from God: under the strong pressure of sins in their life, they create false gods to justify their numerous transgressions. And when the burden of sin became severe, the heart became hard like a stone (Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:15, 19 and so on), therefore dead and can produce nothing but evil (Proverbs 6:14).
- Even though you may be a successful man or woman in all aspects of your life, it may turn 180 very quickly, just like it happened with the children of Israel with the rise of the new Pharaoh.
- Do not try to play a hero. Please, know that God hears all your supplications and understands the pain of your affliction. Take an example from the Canaanite woman and humble yourself before the Almighty God and ask for help.
- In Matthew 18:10-14, Jesus taught His disciples about a shepherd who had 100 sheep. Our heavenly Father counts us as individuals and rejoices when we turn our hearts to Him with repentance and humbleness.
- King Solomon said it best: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Your repented heart is the wellspring of life that Jesus Christ gives from the moment of death to sin.
- Just like God promises to the children of Israel to bring them out from the Egyptian bondage into the land flowing with milk and honey, Jesus Christ will bring you out of the bondage of sin (Romans 6:4).
- Who is your intercessor?
- GOD: Past, Present and Future
- Our Heavenly Father
- Know Christ the Lord
- Saving Purpose Of The Law Given To Moses
Dear Heavenly Father, we glorify You name.
We thank You for your love and mercy upon us. You, Lord God, even by the shed blood of your Son Jesus, brought us out of the bondage of sin. We thank you, Lord Jesus, for your sacrifice on the cross.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us in obedience to the will of our Father and will make us shine for the glory of His kingdom, so let the lost sheep be found and recalled into the flock.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.